The world’s largest landmarks, such as towering skyscrapers, massive canyons, and roadside oddities, always command a lot of attention, but small places can offer equally fascinating experiences. Whether it’s a tiny bar, museum, or hotel, visiting some of the world’s tiniest attractions will make your vacation extra memorable. These eight micro attractions might be teeny-tiny, but they sure are fun.
Tiny Town and Railroad (Morrison, Colorado)
Just west of Denver near the mountain town of Morrison sits a historic town surrounded by a railroad, complete with a school, library, grocery store, restaurants, shops, opera house, movie theater, doctor’s office, bank, hotel, gas station, jail, and several Victorian homes. But what differentiates Tiny Town from other small towns is the size of its buildings — the 100 or so buildings are one-sixth the size of standard buildings. The 15-inch gauge railroad that encircles the quaint community is also minuscule but manages to take full-size passengers on scenic, 10-minute rides through town.
Known initially as Turnerville after the town’s founder, George Turner, Tiny Town was constructed to entertain Turner’s young daughter and grew to include 125 buildings during its heyday in 1924. Floods and fires destroyed most of the village a few times, but recent efforts have restored or rebuilt more than 90 buildings. In addition to exploring the town, visitors can enjoy a picnic in grassy areas under towering pine trees and shop at the gift shop.
Cross Island Chapel (Oneida, New York)
Measuring only three feet by six feet, the tiny Cross Island Chapel isn’t suitable for a large wedding or religious service of any size. However, this closet-sized, two-seat wooden chapel is a marvel — not only because of its diminutive size, but also because it’s only accessible by rowboat. The chapel sits suspended over Mason’s Pond on a wooden platform, about 30 miles east of Syracuse in the city of Oneida. Chandler Mason, the pond’s owner, built the structure in 1989 along with a small rock island nearby that houses a large cross.
Cross Island Chapel once held the Guinness World Record as the world’s smallest church, but it was surpassed in 1990 by the Santa Isabel de Hungria, a tiny Spanish church inside a much larger monument of Christopher Columbus. Cross Island Chapel does not hold regular services, but visitors can book the building for special events, including weddings. The white steeple only has room for the wedding couple and the officiant, but guests can watch the ceremony from rowboats.
Warley Museum (Halifax, England)
If you’ve spent any time in the U.K., you’ve undoubtedly seen the iconic red phone booths, many of which are no longer functional and have been repurposed into art galleries, book exchanges, and more. Warley Town, a historic village near Halifax, “adopted” a booth in 2016 and converted it into what may be the world’s smallest museum.
Artists etched local historical scenes on the glass windows and repainted the booth’s exterior in the signature bright red hue. Warley Museum showcases local historical artifacts, photos, and curiosities, which rotate every few months. You’ll find the miniature museum in front of the Maypole Inn.
BackDoor 43 (Milan, Italy)
If you ever wanted your own private speakeasy, look no further than BackDoor 43, a tiny wooden bar almost hidden along a busy canal-side street in Milan. Billed as one of the world’s smallest bars, the 43-square-foot space holds just three stools. The only way to get into BackDoor 43 is to reserve it at least two weeks in advance for two-hour increments. However, if you can’t snag a reservation, you can order takeout drinks from a tiny window.
You might not see the skilled bartender’s face as he typically wears a Guy Fawkes mask (particularly when serving takeout drinks). Still, thirsty patrons can sip craft cocktails made with top-shelf liquor, including more than 60 rare whiskeys. Customers who order from the tiny takeout window can only see the bartender’s hands.
Tiny Digs Hotel (Portland, Oregon)
Tiny homes are cropping up all over the world, and one of the best places to experience staying in one of these post-stamp-sized homes is the Tiny Digs hotel in Portland, Oregon. Each of the 12 standalone tiny homes is custom-built, smartly decorated, and fully furnished. The tiny homes each features a small deck, kitchen area, queen bed, bathroom, and a sitting area. The smallest tiny home sleeps two and the largest sleeps five.
The cute homes make clever use of their small space, much like an RV or a boat cabin. The houses sit on a former car dealership lot, and the owners transformed the outdoor space into a comfy hangout spot to converse with other guests, complete with fire pits, lawn chairs, couches, twinkle lights, and yard games. Tiny Digs is in the hip Kerns neighborhood within walking distance of nearly 50 breweries, bars, restaurants, and shops.
Doof Shed (Sydney, Australia)
Dance floors can get crowded even at massive nightclubs, but up to seven people can cram into Doof Shed, the world’s smallest mobile nightclub, and have the dance floor all to themselves. Twin brothers in Sydney came up with the idea during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns to give people a safe option to enjoy clubbing. Doof Shed measures just under 12 square feet and includes a DJ setup, fog machine, disco ball, lasers, and a strobe light.
The brothers repurposed a corrugated metal shed for the club and painted bright, graffiti-style logos on the exterior. The Guinness Book of World Records recognized Doof Shed as the world’s smallest nightclub in May 2021. To gain entry, clubbers must enter their names into a ballot on Doof Shed’s website and hope they win the right to disco.
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be the only person living in the nation’s smallest incorporated town, you can ask Elsie Eiler of Monowi, Nebraska. Eiler has been Monowi’s sole inhabitant since her husband died in 2004. She serves as the town’s de facto mayor, secretary, and clerk and also runs Monowi’s only business, the Monowi Tavern.
Monowi was founded in 1903, when the Mason, Elkhorn, and Missouri Valley Railroad was built here and had a post office until 1967. About 130 residents lived here during Monowi’s peak years during the 1930s. Monowi is just south of the South Dakota border and the Missouri River in far northeastern Nebraska.
Fairy Doors (San Francisco)
Visitors flock to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park to enjoy several splendid attractions — the Japanese Tea Garden, the De Young Museum, and the California Academy of Sciences — to name a few. However, some visitors come to the park for an entirely different reason — to search for fairies who supposedly live behind tiny fairy doors installed around the park.
The whimsical little doors are installed in tree trunks and logs and have ornate hinges and doorknobs. Children especially love to search for the doors and leave notes and gifts for the fairies, such as miniature dolls, marbles, beads, bells, shells, and treats. A father and his young son built the first door in 2013 after spotting a tree trunk hollow and deciding it looked like a fairy home. The park houses at least four doors — two in the Music Concourse and two near the Japanese Tea Garden.